Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
John James

Known as
John James

18 January 1934

8 December 2010 (aged 76)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 19y 90d
Last game: 29y 232d

Height and weight
Height: 175 cm
Weight: 81 kg

Senior clubs

Jumper numbers
Carlton: 10

Family links
Michael James (Son)

John James

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV

Pre 1965 stats are for selected matches only

AFL: 6,297th player to appear, 704th most games played, 2,892nd most goals kickedCarlton: 664th player to appear, 41st most games played, 236th most goals kicked

Winner of the VFL's top individual award, the Brownlow Medal, in 1961 while playing mainly as a half back flanker, Carlton's John James was invariably the first man the coach called upon to fill in if the team was breaking down in a certain position. During his 11-season, 195-game career with the Blues he played, at some point, in virtually every position on the ground with the exception of ruckman.

Initially recruited from Ballarat as a forward, he ended his debut season of 1953 with the rankly inglorious tally of eight goals and 43 behinds to his name, and the disbelieving groans of the Princes Park faithful still ringing in his ears.

When playing in the backlines, James was sometimes criticised for 'taking risks', but his superb judgement meant that he was actually a prototype of the more modern, re-bound style of half back or back pocket. For James, there was nothing calculatedly tactical about his style; he was simply playing his natural game, just as he had done from his time as a schoolboy at the renowned football nursery of St Patrick's College, Ballarat.

John James' importance to Carlton was emphasised with best and fairest wins in 1955, 1960 and 1961 making him, somewhat surprisingly, the first player to win the award on three occasions.

Author - John Devaney


Full Points Footy Publications


* Behinds calculated from the 1965 season on.
+ Score at the end of extra time.